A secret millionaire with an MBA and a $1 million home in Brooklyn spends her days collecting cans for $20 at a time

can collectorHenny Ray Abrams/AP

  • The New York Post wrote a profile of Lisa Fiekowski, a Brooklyn millionaire who collects cans as a hobby.
  • Fiekowski owns $8 million in real estate around New York City and has an MBA from the University of Chicago.
  • She says it's a good way to keep active, but her neighbors and family aren't pleased about it.

Lisa Fiekowski is a secret millionaire with an intriguing exercise routine: collecting trash.

The New York Post wrote a profile of Fiekowski, a 60-something resident of Brooklyn's upscale Prospect Heights neighborhood.

Fiekowski owns nearly $8 million in properties around New York City, but at least one of her investments is uninhabitable, thanks partially to her unusual hobby. The Post reported that she's packed one residency with an old microwave, umbrella, toys, carpet, amongst other trash.

Fiekowski has been collecting cans for around a decade, which is reported to generate $20 to $30 for a few hours of work. She enjoys it because she can keep active, talk to her neighbors, and keep her area clean.

"Mostly, it's physical activity," she told the Post.

Meanwhile, Fiekowski has an MBA from the University of Chicago and her husband makes around $180,000 a year. She's worked as a marketing analyst and a stockbroker, while her parents were high-ranking economists in the US government.

"My family thinks this whole thing is horrible, but I think it's so funny," she said to the Post.

But, while her family may not be pleased with how she chooses to spend her days, Fiekowksi defends her hobby. She said the outage around it just shows how judgmental New Yorkers have become.

"I'm an old-fashioned bohemian," Fiekowksi told the Post. "To me, what's sad is New York used to have acceptance of people being eccentric, but now it's like, 'Heaven forbid!'"

Last month, the city towed Fiekowksi's 1993 Toyota Camry, which is also filled with junk, dented, and covered in graffiti. But Fiekowksi said she had parked it legally.

"People were so upset that this terrible car was in the neighborhood," Fiekowksi said to the Post. "It shows you how intolerant that area is."

Fiekowksi is hardly the first ultra-wealthy person to maintain a frugal life. Billionaire Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, drove the same Volvo for two decades and preferred to fly coach, as Business Insider's Tanza Loudenback previously reported.

Read the entire New York Post profile »

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